Enough of Benue bloodbath – Gov Ortom
BY PETER DURU
MAKURDI – Governor Samuel Ortom has called for a halt to the ceaseless bloodshed in Benue state occasioned by attacks on rural communities of the state by herdsmen lamenting that the bloodbath had become too much.
The Governor spoke Thursday during a state funeral service in honour of the 26 victims of March 5 herdsmen attacks on Omusu community, Ojigo Edumoga held at St. Bernard Primary School Ugwu-Okpoga in Okpokwu Local Government Area of Benue state, amid wailings, cries and tears.
He reiterated his call for the arrest of the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore whom he said were the sponsors of the killings in the state based on comments credited to them and published by various media houses.
The Governor while consoling the bereaved families said “the death of the victims and many others would put an end to the massacre of Benue people.
“I will also add that the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of Benue state has come to stay because it is the panacea to the farmers/herders crisis in this country.
“Moreover there is no land for open grazing to take place in our communities and at the same time have crop farming to go on concurrently.”
Governor Ortom who assured of his government’s quick response to every security issue in the state, disclosed that data was being gathered for the compensation of those who suffered losses and damages during herdsmen incursions in the state.
In separate remarks, his Deputy Governor, Mr. Benson Abounu Deputy Speaker of the State Assembly, Mr. James Okefe, representative of of the Otukpo Catholic Bishop Apochi, Rev. Fr. John Attah among others who commended the Governor for his support to the bereaved families urged the people of the state to remain resolute in their support for the grazing law.
On their part, the ethnic leaders of the state, represented by Mr. Amalia Amali and the representative of Movement Against Fulani Occupation, MAFO, Pastor Dave Ogbole both said they saw the attacks coming and reported same to relevant authorities but nothing was done to avert the massacre.
While expressing disappointment with the federal government over its inactions towards the killings, Pastor Ogbole called on the international community to rise up and stop a repeat of Rwanda in Nigeria, warning that the resolve by Benue people to remain law abiding should not be mistaken for cowardice.
In a sermon, Chairman Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Benue state chapter, Rev. Akpen Leva prayed God to intervene and save the state from herdsmen incursions and further bloodshed.